2000 IFA AGM - Minutes

Minutes from the 2000 Annual General Meeting of the IFA

Minutes from the 2000 Annual General Meeting of the IFA


Present: Executive Committee: Philippe Rogge (President); Karlo Kuret (Vice President Sailing); Paul McKenzie (Treasurer); Diana Shanks (Executive Director) Rolf Lehnert (Masters Chairman); 24 National Association Representatives and approximately 20 other members of the class.


Voting cards were distributed to the National Class Association representatives based on the 2000 IFA dues received.


The minutes of the 1999 AGM were approved


Verbal reports were received from the following:

(a)           The President;

·         This year is an important year with the Olympic regatta in September and the selection of Olympic classes for 2004 taking place in November.

·         The numbers in the class have grown and the level of junior sailing has increased, with a new generation of younger sailors coming through. Entries to the Europeans were good and the Gold cup is close to 100.

·         Financially the class is OK although it is dependant on countries memberships.

·         The objectives are to remain an Olympic class and continue to grow through the next year.  Sailors were encouraged to go to their MNA to promote the Finn, their class, to stay as an Olympic Class.

(b)           The Vice-President Sailing; Karlo Kuret,

It is my pleasure to report that since the last AGM, which took place in Melbourne (January 99), good things have happened. Of course, there are always some problems but lets first see what is going on with numbers of participants on big, important events trough last couple of years:  During the Olympic Sailing years the Finn Gold Cup and Europeans entries have been as follows:

Finn Gold Cup            Entry            Nations             Europeans         Entries            Nations

1988                                  48            11                                            50            22

1992                                 94           32                                            51            24

1996                                 71            27                                            36            18

1997                                 81            29                                            55            22

1998                                84            26                                            77            25

1999                               71            29                                            77            25

2000                                89            32                                            68            24

It is clear that we have a stable number of participants or even slightly rising trend.  There is a very similar situation is also in main ISAF events, there are no significant changes.  For example in Hyeres 99 we had, 53 boats from 24 nations and this year 51 from 22, SPA regatta 99, 75/24, this year 63/22.  This usually happens in an Olympic sailing season when some of sailors have lost their Olympic qualifications.

So from this point of view I can say that we have strong stable senior fleet.  Unfortunately I can't say that for junior fleet.  There we have negative trend in last 6-7 years.  For example on junior Europeans we have following situation:

Junior EU            Entry             Nations                                                 Entry             Nations

1990                       20            12                                  1996                 10            9

1991                       28            11                                  1997                 14            10

1992                      27            11                                  1998                 17            10

1993                    16            10                                     1999                 11            7

1994                    17            8                                      2000                 9              6

1995                   15            9

In the Junior GC 1999 there were only 5 entries and this year only 6!  The fact is that Finn, by the definition, is not a junior class, but we have to be open and recognise our weakness and try to work on it.


Throughout the last two years, the class has been thought a strong process of rig development.  The present situation is generally OK but there are some holes in rules regarding the mast measurements.  It must be urgently solved by TC.  Also we still do not have any mechanism to prevent the appearance of very light or very expensive sail materials.  It could be very dangerous, so we need some rule.  With this we can solve one of main problems today, sail durability, which is mostly a question of minimal weight sail material.

Measurements and control

Most of mast and sail builders respect new rules so we have much less problem with measurements.  This is proof that with good rules and decisions we can solve may problems.  On the other hand we still have measurements not organised to the standard we require, at some events.  And I also hope that we will finally start with spot-checking during the races.

Organisation and selection of host for EC and FGC

We cannot be very satisfied with some of last EC or FGC. I still believe that there is a great interest for the Organisation of such events.  We must demand more put higher standards and entrust with the championship those who can best meat our requirements. We must protect quality level championships and ask each year for more.

On racing field

Most of sailors are satisfied with format what we sail now on EC or FGC although I believe that there is still place for some improvement.  Problem of applying, interpretation and criteria of on the water judging is still very present.  This subject I think needs to be discussed with class ladders, sailors, ISAF officials and some of main judges.  Result must be very simple, and fair propulsion rule.

With best wishes for our class to stay in Olympic family and to grow even more I also take this opportunity to congratulate Mathews Kusznierevitz on ISAF award "sailor of the year".

(c)           The Vice-President Development (not present);

·         Pan Am Games were won by Richard Clarke, The Finn had 8 entries - a good number for the Games.

·         It has been hard to organise and fund a clinic before regattas, however, with the help of ISAF, There are discussions to hold a clinic for the Nations who do not have their own coach, to improve the level of competition at the Olympics.  $2000 has been received from Gerado Seeliger for this purpose.

(d)           The Vice-President Masters;

·         There will be a separate meeting for Masters on Wednesday evening 14th June.

(e)           The Treasurer;

·         The 1999 IFA Accounts were circulated.

·         The accounts were in good order, a small loss was made in 1999, and much of this can be put down to the publication of the 50th anniversary book FINNatics.  Money will be recouped in 2000 when more copies of the book are sold.

·         Emphasis was placed on the fact that the IFA relied on membership dues in order to run the class and that countries should pay membership for the number of sailors in their country and not the number of entries required at the Gold Cup or European Championship.

·         The Treasurer proposed to transfer some of the reserve account to another currency to enable maximum income. This was approved unanimously.

(f)             The Chairman of the Technical Committee.



In the Olympic Year, it is hoped that no rule changes will be necessary, and none have been made.

During the last year, there have been requests for action to limit the cost of sails and of masts.  Current policies are based on the concept that, provided sensible limits are set on sensitive parameters such as the width of masts, market forces will cause costs to remain reasonable.  This policy, and the rules in general, are having a very severe test at the 2000 Olympics, with sailors providing their own gear.  I have seen no evidence to suggest that tighter restrictions would lead to significant cost savings.

During the year there has been correspondence about sails, masts and hulls.  Regarding sails, there is a suggestion that they should have a minimum weight, just as we have a minimum hull weight.  Racing sailors will immediately know that we will then need a Lamboley for sails (or lead foot ropes).  An alternative is a minimum for thickness or "cloth weight", but modern sails use different material in different places, so this would inhibit development in an exciting field where we are world leaders.  Current opinion is that we should leave well alone!

There has been a most unfortunate problem over the measurement of masts.  A disagreement over the interpretation of the rules on mast fore-and-aft dimension (Chord) and mast width was referred to the ISAF by a measurer.  The ISAF consulted urgently with the TC Chairman, who replied and referred to the TC (and the IFA Executive).  TC and EC comments supported the Chairman's answer.  A definitive interpretation has now been prepared by the ISAF secretariat, and approved by the Chairman and Members of the ISAF CentreBoard Boat Committee.  No changes or clarification of our current Rules have been recommended by ISAF, although clearly we will look at whether clarifications are needed.

Regarding hulls, there has been discussion regarding building-in flexible rubber lower bearing surfaces for the Centre Plate, and adjustable stiffness for the upper bearing surfaces.  Finn sailors will have seen an article in FinnFare about this.  Currently TC Chairman and some TC members believe that both arrangements are not within the rules of the class.

The TC Chairman would like to record appreciation of the tactful support that the class receives from the ISAF Technical Officer Simon Forbes, who has now been joined by Craig Mitchell.  Craig will have direct responsibility regarding the Finn Class.


In my report last year some suggestions were made concerning standardisation of Boom Pin arrangements and of Deck and Heel Bearings.  TC requests guidance on whether to submit definite proposals to the next AGM.


I should like to propose the following existing members, also Miklos Nemeth, a long-standing servant of the class.  New volunteers would be welcome.

Masters nominee (currently Jan Bjoernberg)

Chief Measurer (Juri Saraskin)

John Driscoll, David Howlett, Larry Lemieux, Walter Mai, Gus Miller, Craig Monk, Miklos Nemeth, Andrzej Ostrowski.

Richard Hart.

Chairman, Technical Committee.


4.                  ACCOUNTS

(a)           The IFA accounts .of 1999 (previously circulated) were approved.


(a)                The members of the Executive Committee were unanimously approved as follows

President                           Phiippe Rogge

Vice President (Sailing)                  Mark Herrmann

Vice President (Development)       John Callahan

Vice President (Masters)               Rolf Lehnert

Treasurer                          Paul McKenzie

Chairman of Technical Committee          Richard Hart

(b)                The members of the technical Committee were unanimously approved as follows:

Richard Hart (chairman)               Jan Björnberg

John Driscoll                   David Howlett

Larry Lemieux                     Walter Mai

Andrzej Ostrowski                    Juri Saraskin

Miklos Nemeth                      Tim Tavinor


(c)                The Marketing Committee were unanimously approved as follows:

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie (Chairman)

Robert Deaves

Diana Shanks

Gerardo Seeliger

Marc Blees


(a)                Update on preparations for the following IFA Championships:

(ii)                 2001 Finn Gold Cup

The dates for the Championship at the Eastern Yacht Club were finalised and Charley Cook, confirmed that early preparations were going well.

Registration:       21, 22 & 23 September 2001

Practice Race:  23 September 2001

Racing:         24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29 September 2001

(iii)                2003 Gold Cup

The 2003 Gold Cup has been confirmed as part of the ISAF combined championships to be held in Cadiz.

(b)                Bids were received to host the following IFA Championships:

(i)                   2001 Finn European Championship

Bids were received from the following Malcesine (firm), Lake Garda (informal), and France (informal).

The Championships could be held in the first 2 weeks of July in Lake Garda, preferably Malcesine, 21 in Favour,  4 abstentions

(ii)                 2002 Finn Gold Cup

(iii)                2002 Europeans

Bids were received from Turkey, Spain and Greece to host the Gold Cup and European championships. 24 voted in favour and 1 against that the championships should be held in Turkey and Greece.

It was then proposed that Greece should hold the Gold Cup and Turkey the Europeans - 20 in favour and 5 against.

(iv)                2004 Gold Cup

Brazil bid to host these Championships; which would be held just before the carnival in February.  It was voted unanimously to offer Brazil the championship, but to re-evaluate this decision in 2002 in case the circumstances have changed.

(v)                  2003 and 2004 European Championships are still open and all

National Authorities are urged to submit offers in due form as soon as possible.


The format of races as used in the 1999 Europeans, 2000 Europeans and Gold Cup were approved unanimously for use in all future IFA championships until there is a proposal to change. These will be added to the IFA 2000 Championship Rules.


The Olympic year tests rules as we have seen. Therefore we must ensure that the correct procedures is used for questioning the rules i.e. going to the Technical Committee, who, where necessary go to ISAF for a final ruling.

9.                  2004 OLYMPIC CLASS SELECTION

It is likely that there will be a reversal of the earlier decision for a dinghy to go out of the Olympics for an additional keelboat to be added. The outcome of this submission is still unknown, hence all sailors should try to convince their National Authorities that the Finn has its place in the 2004 Olympic Regatta.


Regatta format for non IFA Championships

After Hyeres where there were 6 races in two days it was proposed to issue guidelines/recommendations for clubs holding events for the Finn, to indicate the preference of Finn sailors on the number and length of races.

13 voted in favour of 2 of less races,  9 in favour of 2 or more races.

Mast Label Rule

It was proposed to charge a fee for mast labels in order to have some control over who is building masts, create a database and enable better identification of masts.  The Technical Committee are to produce a rule to this effect, which also enables 'grandfathering' of existing masts.

19 in favour,  4 against and 1 abstention.

Rule 42 -  white flag proposal for pumping.

ISAF have a working party for rule 42 in general.  It is possible that there will be a new rule from ISAF in November.

Various proposals were made during the meeting and it was unanimously agreed to try a new rule for the Finn for rule 42.  Written submissions must be sent to the IFA before August 31 2000, from there a vote will be taken.


Circulation:            National Finn Association Secretaries

IFA Executive Committee



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